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University announces first-ever masters degree in ‘Happiness Studies,’ will cost students $17,700

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A New Jersey university is launching what it called the world’s first “Master of Arts in Happiness Studies.”

Centenary University’s program will “explore the implications of happiness for individuals, the workplace, and our broader society,” according to the college’s announcement. It’s set to launch virtually in the fall and will cost students $17,700.

“Whatever profession you identify, there is a place – a very important place for happiness studies – for the science of well-being,” Tal Ben Shahar, a happiness expert and the director of the program, told Fox News.

Centenary University, Hackettstown, NJ.

Centenary University, Hackettstown, NJ.
(centenaryuniversity.edu)

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University President Bruce Murphy said in his March 18 announcement: “This online, 30-credit graduate degree is an interdisciplinary program designed for leaders who are committed to personal, interpersonal, organizational, and societal happiness. Grounded in science and research, this new degree will study happiness and resilience to prepare graduates to make an impact in a wide range of fields.”

Centenary, a private college in Hackettstown, New Jersey, with about 1,100 students, teamed up with the Happiness Studies Academy to create the happiness program. Murphy told Fox News a variety of professionals could benefit from the program, such as human resource employees creating trainings for staff or CEOs incorporating lessons into their organizations.

“We were thrilled when Centenary University President Murphy and his colleagues were willing to take the leap, so to speak, and create and an academic field out of the fields of happiness, which is sorely needed in our world,” Ben-Shahar, who co-founded the Happiness Studies Academy, told Fox News.

Centenary University, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

Centenary University, Hackettstown, New Jersey.

The academy’s mission “is to lead the happiness revolution by educating leaders who are themselves dedicated to personal, interpersonal and communal flourishing,” according to its website.

“When we’re talking about happiness, we’re talking about cultivating resilience, the ability to deal with hardships, with difficulties, and there’s plenty to go around today,” Ben-Shahar told Fox News. “Whether you’re talking pandemic, whether you’re talking war, uncertainty, whether it’s on the economic level, the emotional level.”

“We need some practical advice, evidence-based advice to help people deal with difficulties,” he continued.

The degree will incorporate aspects of various disciplines ranging from psychology, philosophy and neuroscience to finance and business to literature, religion and music.

“This fully online accredited MA in Happiness Studies focuses on educating leaders who are committed to the cultivation of wellbeing in themselves and others, to the fulfillment of society’s potential for both happiness and goodness,” the program’s website states. “Regardless of your area of interest and action … the rigorous ideas and evidence-based interventions that are part of the MA in Happiness Studies will help you bring out the best in your family, colleagues, clients, students and yourself.”

Centenary President Bruce Murphy

Centenary President Bruce Murphy

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Centenary has received 38 applications for the program since it was announced at the March 18 World Happiness Summit in Miami, Murphy told Fox News.

“The degree in happiness studies is relevant for essentially every field of practice,” Ben-Shahar said. He said the Happiness Studies Academy receives students from a variety of professions, including lawyers, doctors, therapists, teachers, coaches and managers. 

“I see a lot of opportunity for individuals to be engaged, to take this master’s degree program, to get the certification and to go forth and do great things with it,” Murphy told Fox News. 



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As internet goes dark in Iran, activists fear what comes next

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When Iranian authorities pulled the plug on the internet in 2019 amid anti-government protests, the international community struggled to track the civilian carnage that followed.



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Elijah McClain’s death attributed to ketamine administrated by paramedics

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Elijah McClain died after being administrated ketamine while forcibly detained, according to a recently published autopsy report.

Denver District Court Chief Judge Christopher Baumann ordered Thursday that McClain’s autopsy report be published unredacted for the public. 

The report was published Friday afternoon. According to the coroner, McClain’s 2019 cause of death was an overdose of ketamine administered by paramedics.

“Simply put, this dosage of ketamine was too much for this individual, and it resulted in an overdose, even though his blood ketamine level was consistent with a ‘therapeutic’ blood concentration,” said coroner Dr. Stephen Cina.

ELIJAH MCCLAIN DEATH: COLORADO GRAND JURY INDICTS 3 POLICE OFFICERS, 2 PARAMEDICS 

FILE - A makeshift memorial stands at a site across the street from where Elijah McClain was stopped by Aurora, Colo., Police Department officers while walking home, before family members hold a news conference, Friday, July 3, 2020, in Aurora, Colo. Three Aurora Police Department officers have left the force after photographs surfaced of them reenacting the chokehold used on McClain across the road from the memorial, which sits in the shadow of Interstate 225. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

FILE – A makeshift memorial stands at a site across the street from where Elijah McClain was stopped by Aurora, Colo., Police Department officers while walking home, before family members hold a news conference, Friday, July 3, 2020, in Aurora, Colo. Three Aurora Police Department officers have left the force after photographs surfaced of them reenacting the chokehold used on McClain across the road from the memorial, which sits in the shadow of Interstate 225. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
( (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File))

“I believe that Mr. McClain would most likely be alive but for the administration of ketamine,” Cina added.

In September, a Colorado grand jury indicted three officers and two paramedics in the death of Elijah McClain, a black man who was put in a chokehold and injected with a powerful sedative two years ago in suburban Denver. 

Aurora police stopped McClain, a 23-year-old massage therapist, as he walked home from a store on Aug. 24, 2019, after a 911 caller reported a man wearing a ski mask and waving his hands who seemed “sketchy.” 

AURORA, CO - JUNE 27: Elijah McClain protesters close to the Aurora place line at the Aurora Municipal Center June 27, 2020. Elijah McClain died August 30, 2019 several days after a struggle with Aurora police. Elijah became unconscious during the encounter with police August 24, 2019 and had a heart attack while being transported to a hospital. McClain died after being taken off life support. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)"n"n

AURORA, CO – JUNE 27: Elijah McClain protesters close to the Aurora place line at the Aurora Municipal Center June 27, 2020. Elijah McClain died August 30, 2019 several days after a struggle with Aurora police. Elijah became unconscious during the encounter with police August 24, 2019 and had a heart attack while being transported to a hospital. McClain died after being taken off life support. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)”n”n
( (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)”n”n)

Officers put McClain in a chokehold and pinned him down. 

Paramedics injected him with 500 milligrams of ketamine, an amount appropriate for someone 77 pounds heavier than McClain’s 143-pound frame, according to the indictment. He fell unconscious, was pronounced brain-dead at a hospital, and was taken off life support.

AURORA POLICE IN COLORADO QUESTIONED ON USE OF FORCE DURING ELIJAH MCCLAIN PROTEST: REPORT

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 28: A view of BEAR THE TRUTH Protest: A Pop-Up Art Curation of Teddy Bears for Children and Families in honor of #BlackLivesMatter at Los Angeles City Hall on June 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JUNE 28: A view of BEAR THE TRUTH Protest: A Pop-Up Art Curation of Teddy Bears for Children and Families in honor of #BlackLivesMatter at Los Angeles City Hall on June 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images)
((Photo by Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty Images))

The city of Aurora has released bodycam footage and the 911 call that preceded the incident.

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In portions of it, McClain, in a sobbing voice, denies having done anything wrong. He tells officers he’s “just different” and can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe, please stop.”

“When we showed up, he was wearing a ski mask,” someone can be heard saying.



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Road World Championships: Injured Annemiek van Vleuten wins in 'stunning' finale

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Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten wins women’s road race gold despite a fractured elbow at the Road World Championships in Australia.



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